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Spatial Memories Seen In Hippocampus fMRI

For the first time, scientists have established that memories are laid down in specific patterns in the hippocampus, the brain region that is crucial for navigation, memory recall and imagining future events. The research was published in the journal Current Biology.

Four volunteers navigated around a room in a computerised virtual reality game while the researchers examined their hippocampus with an fMRI scanner. The researchers had spent time with the subjects “training” the analytical software to recognise their spatial memories.

“Surprisingly, just by looking at the brain data we could predict exactly where they were in the virtual reality room,” said Eleanor Maguire, project leader.

“In other words we could ‘read’ their spacial memories.”

Fans of Farscape may recall the Aurora Chair; employed throughout the Peacekeeper military, it peels back the layers of the mind one by one, until all thoughts and memories are exposed and displayed on a screen attached to the chair. Take a look at the Aurora Chair in action in the video shown below.


(Video of the Aurora Chair)

Via FT; thanks to Moira for the tip and reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/13/2009)

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